Microsoft And Other Tech Giants Waiting to Grab Cyanogen
When it comes to smartphones, Microsoft just does not manage to create headlines at a massive level. Granted, the Lumia line is impressive with its high quality cameras and stylish body, but that’s about it. Even the new Lumia 930 failed to drop our jaws open because Windows Phone 8.1, which has been worked on for four years, was supposed to pry off our eyes from our beloved Android screens – and it didn’t.
However, Microsoft might be ready to take the plunge with its decision to shake hands with Cyanogen Inc, the mobile software startup which sells Android-based open source software that can be customized according to the company’s own hardware requirements. Not only Microsoft, but giants like Amazon, Yahoo and Samsung are also keeping an close eye on Cyanogen for acquisition. Cyanogen team has reportedly met with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, as well, though there has not been any official release about the topic of their discussion.
The software, CyanogenMod, has a dedicated fan base of thousands of developers who also contribute code to it, and apparently it is strong enough to be used as a complete alternative to Google’s Android. The company managed to grab $30 million last year in the Series B round in a valuation from firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Redpoint Ventures and Benchmark Capital, and Tencent.
Though Microsoft is already developing Android-based phones, the reason for opting Cyanogen is more personal. Android is open source, but Google controls the way hardware makers use the software. This means Microsoft is seeking to duck the indirect Google stamp on their products.
Moreover, Cyanogen is also deep set in Android ROMs, which makes us question if Microsoft is looking forward to building its own Windows Phone ROMs. Though this is an absurdity apparently, you never know what might be up Microsoft’s sleeve. Plus with such tech giants eyeing the small startup, there is also a possibility of the companies desiring a larger slice in the global market since Android has 84.7% market share as of Q2 2014, according to IDC reports.
While companies may be dreaming of creating their CyanogenMod based smartphones, Cyanogen has already slipped passed through with its genius of a smartphone, the OnePlus One, in collaboration with OnePlus. With a 5.5-inch 1080p HD resolution screen, 3 GB RAM, 2.5 GHz Quad-core processor and a 13-MP camera, OnePlus One is already being speculated as the “perfect super smartphone.”
With the enormous funding and a smartphone already out in the open, the very giant companies waiting to pounce on this little kid should not be taken aback if they find Cyanogen standing shoulder to shoulder with them in the coming years.